Trying to Capture the Value of the ‘Live’ Conference Using an Ecological Approach

Wright, Hazel R. and Høyen, Marianne (2021) Trying to Capture the Value of the ‘Live’ Conference Using an Ecological Approach. In: Discourses, Dialogue and Diversity in Biographical Research. Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 10 . Brill, Leiden, NL, pp. 77-92. ISBN 978-90-04-46591-6

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With ‘live’ conferences challenged by global climate and health crises, Wright and Høyen, consider what might be lost if these are ultimately replaced by online meetings, drawing on the ESREA Life History and Biography Network adult education conferences, particularly the Copenhagen meeting that they organised, to contextualise their discussion. They examine the usefulness of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model as a way into such a complex topic, finding that its structures supported initial thinking but were too restrictive to enable a logical but linear narrative on the value of the conference to participants, how it encourages attendance and by whom, and the ways this was examinable using publicly available sources and focused ‘insider’ reflection. In a moment of epiphany, the authors understood that the conference, as a series of co-relationships, can be interpreted as a meso-level interaction, positioned between the micro-systems of everyday academic life and the macro- and external structural conditions that press down on it. Enabled to discuss how these different levels interact, the chapter considers the significance of disciplinary and knowledge boundaries and how biographical research challenges and transcends them in pursuit of the human life story, reflecting, too, on the precarious nature of the academic workplace within the neoliberal economy.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: academic conferences, Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model, interdisciplinarity, life history and biography, higher education
Faculty: Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2022 15:14
Last Modified: 31 May 2022 16:18

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